Babies spend a lot of time sleeping, so it is important to provide a safe sleep environment for them. Any parent is anxious to make their baby as comfortable during sleep as possible. However, some common steps for a cozy bed may increase the chance of serious problems.
Certain items in and around the crib can be a suffocation hazard to infants. These items may be harmless to older children but infants have smaller airways and less head control. This means they may not be able to reposition themselves if their access to air is blocked, even by something as simple as a blanket. Fortunately, there are a few easy steps to make your baby's sleep environment much safer without disturbing your baby's sleep.
All parents and caregivers should be aware of the possible hazards associated with sleeping.
Problems have been caused by all of the above as well as the following:
Here are some tips to making your baby's sleep safer from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
When putting a baby less than one year of age to sleep, make sure that you:
Note: When your child is awake, it is okay for your baby to have supervised play time on their belly. This will help your baby develop some posture muscles.
Steps for safe bedding include:
Do not place the baby to sleep on a soft surface such as:
Your baby can sleep in the same room as you, but do not share the bed.
A safe crib will have:
Remove soft products from the baby’s crib such as:
For mesh-sided cribs or playpens, look for:
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
US Consumer Product Safety Commission
Consumer Product Safety
Public Health Canada
A Parent's Guide to Safe Sleep from the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/A-Parents-Guide-to-Safe-Sleep.aspx Accessed November 7, 2012
Healthy Children from the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Back-to-Sleep-Tummy-to-Play.aspx Accessed November 6, 2012
Consumer Product Safety Commission. Crib safety tips. Consumer Product Safety Commission. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5030.html. Accessed November 6, 2012.
CPSC cautions caregivers about hidden hazards for babies on adult beds. Consumer Product Safety Commission. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5091.pdf. Accessed November 6, 2012.
Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. American Academy of Pediatrics Statement: The changing concept of sudden infant death syndrome: diagnostic coding shifts, controversies regarding the sleeping environment, and new variables to consider in reduction risk. Pediatrics. 2005;116:1245-1255. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/116/5/1245
10/5/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: US Food and Drug Administration. Infant sleep positioners: consumer warning—risk of suffocation. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm227575.htm. Updated 7/17/2012. Accessed November 6, 2012.
11/14/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: expansion of recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. Pediatrics. 2011;128(5):1030-1039.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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